I came to know about this scenic beauty through Jui (so here again comes an appreciation for her and also a biiiiiiig thanks that she shared the idea of visiting this place with everyone at work). The way she expressed the place, tempted one and all at work to visit their site, http://www.sagunabaug.com , which again is informative and pretty clean. Still I was apprehensive, coz all that shines is not gold and all the clean floors in the pictures displayed could actually be false. But still I somehow gathered guts (does anyone think I lack in it at anycase 😛 ) and explained the whole place to my folks and sis at home. It soon become a must achieve target and a phone call confirmed the visit. So here we were all excited to visit a new place, typically a mini village and the most awaited pond house.
We left home at about 7.00 am reached Neral by 8.45 am. Not to forget the clean, bright, green, cloudy, hilly terrains between Kalwa and Neral. Should admit that it is an experience to view the transition from Mumbai via Thane to Raigad District. Don’t know why but I had this feeling that may be Amma and Ramu, (as well as I) would not like the place. Still gave it a chance. As soon as we reached we started enquiring at nearby shops for the way to reach our destination. By then a guy signaled to us and said that he had come to recieve us. This was a great surprise, but the greatest horror was to see our vehicle of transport….a tempo (and also a lorry for some). This sounds unreal, but it is a part and parcel of village life, it seems, that is what the guide told us. It was difficult to get in the tempo, (and you must know looking at me itself there cud be “n” number of reasons for not being able to get into a tempo)…Still I did manage. And Ramu had already gone into a laughter riot with each time the tempo jumping high up in the air. I was hell frightened to watch my sister laugh, at the same time sit at the edge of the vehicle and also bounce up in the air each time there was a khadda in the road.
We reached there and it was raining heavily already (this meant the day was already spoiled by the rain Gods). Got the keys for the pond house. The batti in my dimaag lit and ghanti in my dil rang when I saw the pond house for the first time. It was not less the typical boat house or lake houses you see in all the romantic films. (It actually reminded me of the house where surya and jyotika shoot for kaakha kaakha). The ambience was just breath taking, and to feel the flow beneath you is great. There were ducks, turkeys and different kind of birds everywhere. The view from the lake house itself was wonderful, trees, mountains, birds chirping everywhere. I had never seen green, blue and yellow coloured sparrows….it then turned out to be love birds. Can you imagine love birds out of the cage. I actually felt independence and freedom. We visited the paddy lands, learned how they actually do all the farming, though my mother was talking more than our guide (all the village effect). Then came the nursery, tulsi that tasted like mint, hibiscus of three different colours, lemon plants bore lemons of potato size. Flowers and their fragrance, still fresh in my mind. And yes the awful Gobar gas plant. We then went to the river. The most clean and chilly river. First time in my life I actually played with my mom and sis on the river bed, splashing water everywhere. We had to return by this time to our beloved lake house, took a nap. Then came the actual adventure. We went out fishing, did got hold of some. Planned to have a boat ride. All four of us, me, amma, ramu and the guide arranged ourselves onto the boat, by that time it was at the mid of the pond. And yeeee for my surprise and Ramu’s horror, the peddle din’t work. The boat drifted in the breeze and finally somehow reached near the shore in 20 minutes. Our guide jumped out at the shore and pulled the boat near. We then had a hearty laugh at it. We did visit the Emu park nearby, and gained loads of info. Best one…An Emu chooses it’s own mate and yes if it’s partner dies, it goes into depression and never chance marofies on other handsome chaps/beautiful chicks. Hehe…..But at the end we had to leave this awesome place and return with memories. Memories that would never erase.
My frineds teased me that I should not have gone to such a romantic place with family members, but you see, romance is not an act but is abstract, in the heart. But the best part of the whole trip was to see the glitters in my mother’s and sister’s eyes. A thousand times for them, a thousand times for them, any happiness would be a pinhole without them. This day had scribled a beautiful page in my life’s diary. But, as I said earlier, The Almighty gave eyes to us, to see, to adore, respect and wonder at the beauty that he carved, but he did give a vision to yearn for more, crave to see some more”. 😀
“Yere Yere Pausa
Tula deyto paisa
Paisa zhala khota
Paaus aala Moootha”
I know every Mumbaikar, or for that case any person born and brought up in Maharashtra, at some point of life sings this song. But rains are so close to every individual’s heart here. Though I had a tough time in 2005 and then after that the constant fear of getting stuck in rains, still the sweet smell, the splashing sound, the mud and clumsiness, all things good and bad are lovable. All the more when you have a kid at home. Its my pleasure to devote and dedicate this piece to my lovable kid. Wanna meet my kid?
First Rains. Always, always fascinating. The early smell, the light chill breeze, it somehow automatically sends out signals. If not the thunder and the lightning, atleast the light orangish night sky says it all. I was returning back from work. There was this child like urge to get wet in the rains, I prayed till I got off the trains, that it should start pouring before I reach home. So that could help me fulfill my wish (or atleast save some water at home…hehe). But luck you see….never on my side. I took the most tiny steps from the station to home, people around must have thought I have some arthiritis problem. At home, I complained. Complained to Amma, that this is not fair. I need to play in the rain or atleast have the drops pour on me. Luck luck luck. It was pouring outside. My mom was sooooo very kind, you know what she said, “Go on….run go to the terrace, it is okk if you are in your night gown no one will see you..I would also not tell anyone, common run…..” Do you believe? And do you think I left? No. I din’t you know why, coz I was pretty sure, as soon as I reach the terrace, my mom will also accompany me. Reason….the same GET WET IN THE RAINS……and the terrace has no proper fencing too. Met my darling kid.
The other day we (thats me and amma) went shopping and were already late. I told her, as soon as we reach home I will make chappatis and you prepare the bhaaji, so that we are all set before my sis and dad are back. Her reply, ” But before that we need to do one thing”, What, “Eat the ice-cream or else it will melt”. So my kid is not only naughty and wacky but also very very intelligent. So what’s your kid upto…..Whatever life may be or wherever it would lead me too, one thing that I won’t stop doing is, “Loving Amma”.
Everyone must have heard atleast once in their lifetime, “Those were the days”. And yes this would surely continue with great expresions from our side, the yuppies side (you know age gap as they say).
Everytime a senior being utters words like, “We had to live without all this comfort”, makes you yell, ” okk boss its okk you dint have them i have them lemme enjoy, your parents dint have slippers,
but you were previliged to wear them, right?”. Jokes apart (actually Bakwaas apart), today I had the strange feeling that these, so called “oldies” talk about. Colliding with your past.
Its a known fact that I am addicted to music. For a change thought oof listening to Illayaraja hits. Must say he is an awesome musician. The catch was that, I have been listening and admiring his songs
for so many years, without a clue that he was the one who actually gave life to these songs. One after other songs flowed, all lovely ones, Janani from Bharati, Mauna Ragangal, arangetravelai, and
then came the collision. The movie’s name is Thevar Magan, the song “Potri paadadi ponne”. When I first say the movie, I was a kid, must have followed just something, but later whenever the song
appeared, I still feel the liquid rolling down my cheeks.
I was in Madras then (not Chennai obviously :P), at my paati-thata’s place. It used to be such fun, (it stil is) with all your cousins around. Especially Revathy, my best friend, best cousin,
and the best part, we share the same name (Though I am popular as Pavithra there). 15 days or 20 days, din’t matter, coz it ought to be fun. Just strolling in the house, playing paandi, hide-n-seek (it was
a huge antic bungalow). Our nightmares at the backyard. The worst part was that there were cows and buffaloes in the backyard, a huge well and also the toilet (haha). So it used to be a great task to cross
the cattle, then the well and then atlast reach the loo. I can never forget the wackiest experience, one of my cousins pulled a cow’s tail, it just jumped in the air. There was one more time when, I was (in short)
rotating around the house, when the buffalo just broke lose the string and it ran towards me, I could see END, jus a full stop before me then. But hey! this post does not belong to these experiences.
You know what, I had a fantastic, and awesome, great grandmom, we used to call her kollu paati. She was as crazy about movies, as I am. And she used to buy tickets without, my kollu taata (great
grandpa’s PERMISSION) and we that is me, Revathy, amma, and kollu paati used to just run away in the evening. My Innocent grandma (paati) used to get all the if and but, uffs, etc from her father-in -law.
But we never repented on this. And the theatre, actually it never was a theatre, it is known as a TENT KOTTA, its like a huge tent, where there are huge projectors that display the movie. There were three categories
for seating-the luxury one, which consisted of sofas (with obviously bed bugs); the second option, benches, that would surely give you pain (you know where); the third, best one, luxury to the poor, but to us to
SAND (though there was a threat of scorpians and snakes, but we din’t encounter any). We (read me and Revu) used to pestor, paati for the cheapest one, coz we could lie down and watch the movie. It was never less than
a picnic. Paati used to pack, home made waffers, chips, dosas (imagine dosa for a movie). We usually sat at the end, coz as Kollu paati was orthodox, she would not sit with the others (others=people other than Brahmins),
but we cared little. The next thing was to eat the whole stuff, play on sand, and yes have peeks of the movie too (thats what we paid for right). And then sleep off, Amma used to wake us up after the movie. And as usual we
both used to have a hearty laugh at ourselves. I just miss those days.
There is no tent now, just flats and buildings over its corpse. And just one phrase “Those were the days, those were the days”.
When you have just finished your basic education (not primary but degree), you surely feel free. Freedom, independence are all new words. And you are so very excited to explore the Meaning of such words…..that you actually become like a donkey that has just run loose from the ties that his master tied. Not even able to run far, and standing still in the rain…..like nothing has changed at all.
But I am sure I would never curse my time at school or at the University. It has surely shown me the path required to move up in life. (Remember the Ladder that the sarcastic professors gave sermons on). Anyway these so called non stop “Bhashans” all the philosophical fundas do help you sometimes in life
With the professional course-electronics and telecommunication engineering-in my pocket, it was not difficult for me to get a campus placement. Also being the star of the campus…..with the total dadagiri in style and girls craving around to have a glimpse of you….the teachers happy with the decent enough score card…there was a great impression, that “This guy Avinash, is surely going to make some good for himself, and is for sure gonna go places” ( These places I have never understood….I still wonder am I soo very intelligent…..Gosh!!! May be I will step on the moon or Mars someday…haha). But one thing is for sure however bright and brainy you may be, once you are out in the world…to face it for yourself, your confidence would surely dance creepily. But still the optimist that I am, I was sure I will rock the floor and emerge as a true fighter. (Wow….what an ultimate dialogue). The first day at work was good. The manager explaining every nook of the job, he made me visit every part of the firm so that I felt, kind of, at home (which never can be). But yes, this was a new experience and I was as excited as I could be in life. What else would you ask for in life? But one day you need to get out of the fairytale and wake up from your dream. It was not even three months, and I was face to face with the worst attribute of the corporate-Politics. The very thought of being fake, never crept in my mind. But I could see it so well here.
It always has to start with one grueling thing….Vitamin M. With the kind of dedication I showed and the die hard workaholic that I am, I was sure I will be permanent here (coz the first three months were on probation) and then also may be within some months could move up the ladder (as said before). But I did sense that there was some extreme problem. Some brutal plan against me. My work didn’t seem of any importance by now to my manager. The sweet guy that I was, I thought maybe there is something wrong with me alone. Behavior of people around me changed, I believed it was the changing season. But all hell broke when from the side of my ears I heard one of the trainees yelling at THE MANAGER “ Hey, I swear if you don’t kick that fellow out, that Avi baby out, you are done for it, your secrets would be an open book and the money that I spent on you should be back, follow BACK!” I was stunned, didn’t know what to do or what for should I be here. I mean I struggled all my life for a great career and here I was stoned by some guy, for being good, for being the efficient self. Is money all that they require? Is ethics no where in the broader picture? Or haven’t their teachers thought them to Live and Let live. The idea was to fight it out, fight the situation. I was at no fault, right?
The next few days were tiresome, They-the Earthlings trying to get rid of me, and I all alone, wanted to stick here, glued to the place. But what was the point. If I ever win the battle, still it would be lost. Would I be able to work at a place with such bitterness. I was done for it. One fine day I just gave up. The Avi that people praised was no where. He could not even stand for a cause that he felt for so much. Could not even save his own food. A loser a loser was what I was. I lacked the skills, the tactics, the kind of attitude required. The true pseudo professionalism failed before my principles. I had to change, change my self, coz I had to live. Live my life again.
Again the search for a perfect job began, “vacancy here” tags made me happy. Got a job after much effort. But this time, I lost the true Me. I am still Avinash, but the modeled form. The perfect corporate material. It seems diplomacy is in my blood now. Chaplusi is what runs down my veins, and hypocrisy always on my face. I am still happy, happy that I have everything required-food, shelter, clothing…along with a great job. But what I miss the most is Myself. I crave to return back to my own persona, but the so called MNC Syndrome is like a Dementor that has sucked my soul from me, just to leave back a heartless corpse. It is like I am stuck in a cobweb, you can’t untangle it, coz if you do, it would be difficult to survive. I wanted my career to walk hand in hand with the principles and ideas that I believe in, but hypocrisy and diplomacy is what it asks for. It is like “Home is where the heart is!” But now the phrase reads as “Heart is where the money is!”
(Dedicated to Mr. RangaBhargavan)
The Bridge on Egmore station was crowded as usual. With all the confusion around……an Alien engine train arriving on some platform, misplaced itself on some other. And the nastiest that could happen, just occured. The fellow who ran clinging to his repulsive luggage banged upfront on me. And Lo! my suitcase was lying like an open mystery for a huge curious audience. Just wrapped the hole thing right and tried to move unnoticed from there.
The train for Chengalpet was on the platform. I felt so royal……..as if the train was just waiting for me to arrive. I had planned not to sit on the side opposite to the ladies first class. Reason- I was victimied by a female for all the wrong reasons that I had no intension on……last week. But fate never forgives you, I was invited by the lonely seat exactly opposite to the ladies compartment. Had to sit there, I had a long journey yet.
Being an artist or precisely a painter and good at that, I usually draw sketches of my neighbouring commuters, and yes also show them their masterpieces. I was begging for a bakra this time, and my eyes landed on the ones sitting on the other side of me. Guys generally feel that some women have beautiful eyes but in this case, I felt as if her vision penetrated mine.
Took out the tool and weapon……pencil and paper and started off with a miny mission. It din’t take me more than some minutes to complete with her sketch. But she was a true model, never moved her eyes off mine. As if I had hired her for this job. I completed it and smiled looking at her. Thought she must be aware by now what exactly I was doing. But her eye balls never moved, just mere mild blinks. Her vision never wandered. This annoyed me to the core of my brains. You see a lot of men who stare at their counterparts just to embarass them. But this was unusal, A Girl staring incessently a Boy. Gosh! is something wrong with her. What a pitiful character she carries. Felt like tearing off the page in front of me. Whats the use of a wrong protrait. Just then it was time for me to get up. Got up and stood at the door still cursing her, for she had ruined my evening. Surprise! she was standing behind me ready to get off the train. This seriously triggered a lot of anger. I felt as if she was following me. Thoughts that were foolish flashed, am I gonna be kidnapped by her OR is she gonna gather a crowd and hit me as usual for all the wrong reasons. I was determined…….Boy! get off the train and RUN just RUN away so that no one can get hold of you. Got off the train…..started walking as fast as I could. Just then I could feel some one on my shoulder. The dread of my life. Turned back just to see the same girl. I went wild, felt like giving her one tight slap. Cooled down and asked her how I could help her. She asked me the direction for the bus stop. I helped, but she din’t move. Infact opened her big fat ugly purse and to the shock of my life……..got out a folded Blindman’s cane. I seriously went blank at that. Such beautiful eyes that had no vision to view its own wonder.
How Inhuman I acted….instead how pitiful was I at that moment. Narrated the whole episode to her……….she listened to me in peace as if she were a long last friend. Then came a query, just pouted out of her lips with ease…but it did prick my thought…….” How do I look? Do I look beautiful?” I still don’t know the answer to this question. I don’t know what beauty actually means to her. Yes I have the masterpiece with me which reflects her apprehensions. But which can’t provide her with a proof!!
This was my first time. First ever. And I was too enthusiastic that I din’t even open my mouth. The emotions were high. I myself was confused: was I happy, surprised, delighted, tensed. Whatever the feeling was, it was great. I felt like a newly married bride awaiting eagerly to meet her groom.
I went through all the formalities patiently, with ease. Looking at people around. Gazing at them. Trying to gather if anyone among them felt the same as me. And then through the Door, I peeped, to look at a long awaited dream. I believe I was born with it. To feel free, independent. I used to peep through the window panes of my college to have a look at it- The Aeroplane- the only way by which I could Fly.
This would sound very weird to people, but the truth is that I have always desired to fly. To fly as if I were an angel, without any emotions in my mind, and only sanctity. Whenever I went to the building terrace, I would always want to jump off. Ofcourse not to let me go off, but just to be free. Freedom always means a lot to me and many. After years of serious prayers, here I was to board my first flight. A flight which would be imbedded in my memory. It would be an actual Flight to Freedom.
I headed towards it, admiring each and every part of it……the wing seemed so proud for its purpose. I sat on my seat and like a silly kid, wanted to sit on the window seat. However I placed myself in such a manner that I could enjoy the whole journey. The flight took off. Tickles went off my tummy. I felt nauseatic for a second, looked out. God! Is this real.The only thing on my mind was, So Beautiful. Everything outside moved from tiny, tinier to tiniest. I could not believe my eyes, but I was amazed. I could see buildings first, then some silly map, then only green, brown and blue. And then the most beautiful of all, only Clouds. I was astonished to see them below me. Felt as if I should run to the door, break it open and Fly. Just fly off, my hands like wings of a bird, the cool breeze over my flesh. Without any feeling at all, without any emotions at all. Only for eternal bliss. The clouds moved on, I also noticed a thin layer of black clouds. Thin and soft like cotton. Just ready to be spun. I was not with my sense for more than an hour. The landing was all the more stunning. I din’t want to get off the plane. Felt as if I would walk to the pilot and say, “Please Sir, One more Ride”. I knew I was kiddish, and the last one to get off the plane.
I was envious. Seriously envious, of our actual national bird-The Crow. Though its unsightly, and has an irritating voice. It can fly, fly up the sky away from the earth, high up the sea. I was jealous. We both share the same desire, the same conviction to take to the air. That’s when I thought, “I wish I were a Crow, I wish I were a Crow”.
But hey, I would never relish on dead rats.